Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pay Your Dues

Tristan posted an article about Microsoft, Novell and the Linux kernel. In the article, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that every user of the open source Linux system could owe his company money for using its intellectual property. Tristan then came to an idea to send monopoly money to Microsoft to pay for using the Linux kernel. So lets all pay Microsoft for the code we use. You can print of money from here. The address is below:

Microsoft Corporation
c/o Steven Ballmer
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-7329

With the money send this note:

Mr. Ballmer, Since you live in a fantasy world, thought we’d pay some fantasy money for your fantasy claim.

This is a good idea and I request that everybody help participate in this action. If you like this idea please mail some money and digg the story.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

FTP User Individuality

Ok, so I fixed the next issue with my ftp, which is upload access. This is an easy issue if you just want to give everybody and their mother upload access. However, I don't want to do this so I had to setup per-user configuration in vsftpd. Since this is built-in it is a lot easier than it sounds.

  1. Add the following line to /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf:


  2. Create that directory:

    mkdir /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf

  3. Next create the users configuration:

    echo "write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/fred
    echo "anon_upload_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/fred
    echo "anon_mkdir_write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/fred

I created a couple simple bash scripts that can be used add users and add upload access to users. Both scripts must be ran as root.

Script to add users to your ftp.

# Name:
# Description: Adds users to /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt and resets the database
# Arguments: $1=Username $2=Password
# Author: Kevin Harriss
# Version: 0.01
if [ $# -ne 2 ]
echo "Username and Password needed!!!"
echo $1 >> /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt
echo $2 >> /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt
db_load -T -t hash -f /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

Here is the bash script to add upload access to a user.

# Name:
# Description: Gives user upload access to ftp.
# Arguments: $1=Username
# Author: Kevin Harriss
# Version: 0.01
if [ $# -ne 1 ]
echo "Username needed!!!"
echo "write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/$1
echo "anon_upload_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/$1
echo "anon_mkdir_write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/$1

Sharing is Caring

I am so excited right now, I finally got my ftp back up and running. I run vsftpd with virtual users and this will be a guide to setting it up.

  1. Install vsftpd. On foresight just run:

    sudo conary update vsftpd

  2. Create the file with username and password (/etc/vsftpd/logins.txt). The file is an alternating list of username and passwords:


  3. Add the database file (This requires Berkeley DB program installed):

    db_load -T -t hash -f /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

  4. Fix database permissions:

    chmod 600 /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

  5. Setup pam, Change /etc/pam.d/ftp to only contain the following lines:

    auth required /lib/security/ db=/etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login crypt=hash

    account required /lib/security/ db=/etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login crypt=hash

  6. Create virtual user:

    useradd -d /home/ftp virtual

  7. Create /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf containing the following lines:


  8. Restart vsftpd:

    sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

Anytime you add a user to /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt you have to add the database again by running:
db_load -T -t hash -f /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

If you would like an account just let me know.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Banshee Issues No More

This past week I ran into more problems with banshee then ever before, but thanks to the great community behind banshee I got them all fixed. The first issue was that I was missing the plugins directory in ~/.gnome2/banshee I fixed that by reinstalling the base-plugin package. The next issue was that I couldn't search for a word in banshee that contained a shortcut key. For example, a search for "rancid" would search for "racid" but start playing the next song. This issue was fixed by this patch. I added the patch to banshee recipe for foresight so that is fixed. The latest issues was due to a mono upgrade. The mono runtime is not running correctly with banshee. This problem is that if banshee is compiled with mono 1.2, banshee can't import songs if its using mono 1.2 as the runtime; but if mono is mono 1.1.18 at runtime it will work fine. Also if banshee is compiled against mono 1.1.18 then it will work fine with mono 1.2 or mono 1.1.18. A fix for this problem is being worked on, in the mean time issuing this command will fix the problem:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/Banshee/IOBackend --type string systemio

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Welcome back tilda

Well since I reinstalled foresight on my laptop and desktop I lost tilda. For those of you who don't know what tilda is go check it out. It is a drop down terminal that is raised and lowered by a key or combinations of keys, so it's like having a terminal always at your fingertips. So I decided that I would fix this problem by repackaging them, but that did not turn out as easy as I thought. Tilda would not pick up the libconfuse dependency. Thanks to mkj in #conary on freenode for helping me get this issue resolved. To fix that problem I had to add a r.Requires('confuse:devel','/usr/bin') to the recipe. Now if you run rPath Linux, foresight or the like you can install tilda with the following command:

conary update

Monday, November 06, 2006

Richard M. Stallman at IIT

This past Saturday, Richard M. Stallman of Free Software Foundation, GNU, and emacs fame came to speak at Illinois Institute of Technology. He was sponsored by the Chicago GNU/Linux User Group, IIT-ACM, IIT CS Department. He did his standard talk about the four freedoms and the use of free software. He also spoke about the defective by design initiative that has been started. The speech was very informative, even though I have seen him speak on a previous occasion. A recording of his speech can be found here.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The rPath to Software Appliances

So today I gave my presentation on rPath/Conary to the Chicago GNU/Linux User Group. My presentation covered appliance creation, conary based system maintenance, and introduction to conary packaging. I feel my presentation went over very well, I even talked 2 people into trying out rPath Linux. Even more people were talking about using the rPath tools to create a 'free' distro, along the lines of gNewSense and Ututo. I hope I can continue to convince more to people to try out rPath Linux or better yet Foresight Linux and even help the community.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Chicago Fire

I decided to sign up Planet Chicago GLUG for feedburner. We got a new feed from feedburner, the feed is So if you have the old feed for the planet in a feed reader such as bloglines or google reader, please update your feed to the new feed.

Planet Got Its Groove Back

Planet Chicago GLUG has got a brand new skin. This new skin is based on the skin from Planet Gnome. You may ask "How can I get in on this kick ass planet?" Well, here are your options:

If you have a blog: Email me with your blog feed, name, nick and hackergotchi(if you have one).

If you need a hackergotchi: Email me with your photo, and I will try to make you a hackergotchi.

If you have a hackergotchi: Email me with your hackergotchi.

Even though the new planet looks sexy there is still some work to be done:

* Change updated time from UTC to CST
* Clean up the default hackergotchi
* Change feed links to images
* Add icons to add feed to google reader and bloglines
* Create .ico
* Sign up for feedburner???

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Feeling the Burn

I decided to try out feedburner, mainly for that fact that I wanted a way to see the statistics of my blog and blogger had no way of showing that. So with feedburner I have a new feed, so if someone could update my feed on Planet Foresight it would be greatly appreciated. Along with a new feed I have a new hackergotchi thanks to Michael, aka l0wrd. I also fixed to auto-discovery feed from blogger to point to my new feed.

Here are the steps on how to fix this:

1. Delete old auto-discovery - To do this find in the HTML of your template:
< b:include data="blog" name="all-head-content"> and change it to this
<!-- < b:include data="'blog'" name="'all-head-content'/"> -->

2. Add your auto-discovery - To do this add this to the head section of your template.

<link href="FEEDBURNER-FEED" rel="alternate" title="FEED-TITLE" type="application/rss+xml">

Next, change the FEEDBURNER-FEED and FEED-TITLE to the feed and title from feedburner.

UPDATE: Thanks to blogger, my first post didnt display the old auto-discovery correct. It should be fixed now.